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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Sexual Harassment Analysis Clarified by Top Court

By Daniel Standing, LL.B., Content editor, Frist Reference Inc.

A recent wrongful dismissal decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal, 2023 BCCA 354, sheds significant light on the factors that can rightly be considered when assessing whether conduct amounting to sexual harassment provides just cause for termination, and the legal viability of a global award of damages. The decision is helpful to employers who might otherwise be tempted to take the complainant’s side and obtain an apology from the alleged wrongdoer. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Adding Insult to Injury

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., content editor, First Reference Inc.

An injured employee may see the employer’s accident-reporting forms and processes as a waste of time and secondary to their seeking medical treatment, but the collection of such information is critical to the employer keeping its safe workplace obligations. When a British Columbia employee knowingly ignores the accident-reporting rules and puts up barriers to the employer finding out what happened, discipline is not far off, as the employee learned in 2023 CarswellBC 2094. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Sometimes an Apology Is Not Enough

Written by Daniel Standing, LL.B., Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

An apology can be the difference-maker pointing toward rehabilitative potential, but in the worst misconduct cases, it’ll take more than an a simple mea culpa for an employee to get back their foot back in the door for another chance. Take the recent case of 2023 CanLII 77866 (ON LA), for example. Although the supervisor in that case sought reinstatement and apologized, his actions and other things he said told the opposite story. There are several nuggets of wisdom for employers in this case that touch on the value . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

When Colours, Animals and Work Don’t Mix

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

If there’s a main lesson in 2022 BCHRT 129 (CanLII), it’s to use a person’s name instead of animals and colours when referring to them. The reason? When racial slurs are issued at work, the buck stops with the employer, who could find itself vicariously liable along with the perpetrator employee for discriminatory practices The case also presents a best practice for employers who may be able to limit their liability with a rapid and effective investigation. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Mismatched Job Title and Duties Spark Dispute

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Content Editor, First Reference

When someone is hired for a particular job, but their duties don’t totally align with what the job was to entail, disputes can arise. One way trouble can manifest itself is on the pay stub, like in 2023 BCEST 51. There, a worker was hired as a construction project manager but ended up working mainly as a labourer, including long hours of overtime. Under British Columbia Employment Standards Act, he was entitled to overtime pay only if he met the definition of employee; those characterized as managers were excluded, . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Massive Payout to Defamation Victims

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

2023 ONSC 2740 (CanLII) is a defamation case of epic proportions, both for the scope and turpitude of the statements made and in the number of victims. It’s also a strange case, in that the defendant only knew one of the 53 plaintiffs, and the plaintiffs, based all over North America, were mostly strangers to each other. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Severance for Employee After Company Sale

A recent Ontario Superior Court decision shows some of the complexities employers face when dealing with Employment Standards Act (ESA) entitlements versus common law. In this case, the employee was seeking damages from the successor employer for an alleged wrongful dismissal from her continued employment. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Partial Discrimination Is Still Discrimination Court Rules

By Daniel Standing, LL.B., Editor at First Reference Inc.

In 2023 ONCA 364, the Court of Appeal for Ontario has written the latest chapter in an ongoing legal saga about whether the ground of discrimination of “citizenship” is distinct from the concept of “permanent residence.” In the jurisprudential sense though, it is a first chapter, since this is the first time the interpretation of discrimination in employment on the basis of citizenship has come before the Court. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Cardinal Workplace Sin: A Notable Case in Point

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

Don’t steal. Don’t steal. Don’t steal. It’s a short but super-important mantra that every employee with access to their employer’s money (and those who don’t) should live by. 2023 BCSC 892 (CanLII) illustrates the anti-theft message in a hyperbolic way. To quickly illustrate: the opening three sentences of this article were 882 reminders short for the employee in this case. It seems she was a compulsive thief over her six-year tenure, to the tune of over $1.9 million. It’s hard to say if the defendant will ever see the money it’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Of Scams and Thrown Pens: A Termination Gone Bad

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference

From fried chicken to money scams, 2023 NSLB 76 (CanLII) has it all. Though it has some unusual components, the case of wrongful dismissal provides employers with good advice about choosing a penalty that fits an employee’s “crime,” and it illustrates how critical it is to fully investigate alleged wrongdoing before terminating someone’s employment. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Rational Flow? It Might Be Reasonable

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

2023 BCSC 196 (CanLII) tells the tale of an injured employee who didn’t agree with the employment outlook he received from British Columbia’s Workers’ Compensation Board (WorkSafeBC), or with its curtailment of his job search benefits. The court’s position shows how decisions like these can be reasonable, even if the employee remains unconvinced. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions